In private meetings from the Oval Office to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, the message delivered to key Democrats was that the time was now for an agreement, and despite the complicated nature of things, a path could be — must be — secured this week.
It seems a long way off at the moment, on both policy and procedural grounds. But there’s one big push to come, officials and aides say.
The bottom line is that Democrats need to make policy decisions on the most complicated and fraught issues on Wednesday if they want any type of pathway to meeting Biden’s goal. Period. Given where lawmakers were throughout the day Tuesday, that still appears a long way off.

What to watch Wednesday

Biden’s schedule is largely open by design, officials say. Scheduled to depart for Rome on Thursday, the expectation is lawmakers will be heading back to the White House on Wednesday.
For days officials have privately hinted at the possibility of Biden heading to Capitol Hill — with the caveat that it would only happen if a deal is within reach — and if Democratic leaders thought it would help boost the process.

About the deadline

White House officials have been clear it was always a possibility Biden would arrive at the G-20 and the United Nations Climate Conference empty handed. and that it doesn’t mean things have broken down, or would be dead, just delayed. Yet again.
But it’s Biden, in private meetings, who has repeatedly not sugar-coated his view of the stakes — and what it would mean for him to arrive at COP26 in particular without an agreement in hand.
That looms over every minute of the next 24 hours for Democratic lawmakers.

The two things that matter

For the fluid nature of one of the most sweeping and fundamentally transformational legislative proposals in decades, it can be difficult to pin down exactly *what* matters in any given moment. The truth is it all does.
But in this moment, two things matter most:
  1. What progressives need to see in order to agree to vote for Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure proposal?
  2. Can Biden and Democratic leaders secure — or get within striking distance of – #1 with Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, two centrist Senate hold-outs, in the next 24 hours?
That’s the ballgame.

With that in mind

That is precisely why Biden met Tuesday night privately — and without any notice or White House public acknowledgment — with Sinema and Manchin. The message, at least in part, that came from Biden, according to one source with knowledge: What will it take, because things need to be closed out now.
Beyond the overarching message, there was an extensive policy discussion as well, the source said.
Biden’s top advisers are heading to Capitol Hill Wednesday morning to meet with Sinema and Manchin, according to a source familiar with the matter. The meeting will serve as a follow up to Tuesday night’s meeting in the Oval Office between the two centrist holdouts and Biden.

The sticking points

The topline number
  • How to expand Obamacare in 12 states that didn’t expand Medicaid
  • Medicare expansion to dental, vision, hearing
  • Prescription drug negotiations
  • Climate policy (funding will be around $500-$600 billion)
  • Revenue

Everything’s fine

“The Senate needs to start saying yes or no on issues and stop f—— talking,” Democratic Rep. Jimmy Gomez of California said yesterday.

Speaking of the House

Many members in the House feel like their chamber is in a holding pattern right now as the Senate figures out what they need to do to assuage Sinema and Manchin. But, that feeling is giving way to tension within their own ranks as Pelosi has begun making it clear that the House may need to take and pass whatever the Senate comes up with.
Over the course of the last 24 hours, the speaker’s message to her caucus has been realistic: This isn’t all we wanted, this isn’t all we campaigned on. But, it is major change. It’s something for the President and for us, and the House is limited by the willingness of just a few in the Senate to give. Does Pelosi clearly think her chairs’ proposals are superior? Pelosi trusts her chairs implicitly. Is she going to block a bill that comes from the Senate because it isn’t identical to what the House came up with? No.

One thing Pelosi is going to have to deal with

House Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal, a Washington Democrat, borrowed from her playbook last month when she told reporters this week she wanted votes on the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the social safety net bill to happen in tandem, close together and that a framework wasn’t going to be enough.
The speaker told CNN in no uncertain terms Tuesday that she disagreed with that assessment. The White House does as well, according to multiple officials.
Once again, Pelosi has the exact standoff on her hands that caused the House to have to punt on passing the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Even if a framework is reached soon, and that is a big “if” right now, a vote on the bill in the Senate could take several more weeks to happen. Enacting new programs requires careful legislative writing and details will need to be hashed out.
By saying she needs a vote, Jayapal may be hoping to speed this process along, but she may end up dragging it out for many more weeks if she really has the backing of dozens of progressives.

And yet…

The noise, turmoil and very real policy knots Democrats found themselves in throughout Tuesday made it easy to miss something else that’s quietly happening: Pieces of the plan are coming together. They may not be the biggest or thorniest of pieces, yet slowly but surely, negotiators are starting to close out — or on the verge of closing out — major elements of the package.
Despite losing a cornerstone piece of Biden’s original proposal due to Manchin’s opposition, Democrats are coalescing around a proposal to expand grants and loans to manufacturing, industrial and agricultural sectors to incentivize the shift to clean energy providers. There is a similar grant and loan provision targeting rural co-ops. New refundable home improvement tax credits for utilizing solar and other renewable energy sources are also in.
In full, the climate portion of the bill is coming in at above $500 billion, sources said, making it the single largest component of the package and the largest climate change proposal in US history by several factors. To be clear, it’s not a done deal. But Democrats on both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue are confident an agreement is within reach.
Universal pre-kindergarten and childcare
A critical two pieces of the “care” component of Biden’s initial proposal, Democrats have never wavered on their intent to maintain robust universal pre-K and childcare proposal. Yet both are complicated structurally, and expensive, leaving them subject to being pared back as the overall scale of the plan slimmed down.
But sources say negotiators are within striking distance of a final agreement on one of the largest pieces, in terms of funding, in the whole package. The two components end up roughly around $350 billion, one of the sources said.
Corporate minimum tax
Sinema is on board. Manchin appears behind it. The White House has fully endorsed it. And with that, it appears Democrats have identified at least one key revenue source to put in place of increased marginal tax rates.
The 15% corporate minimum tax isn’t a done deal yet, but has clear momentum in the desperate scramble to pay for the proposal.
Medicaid coverage gap
Democrats have crafted a new proposal, centered primarily on boosting Obamacare subsidies, to cover the Medicaid coverage gap in states that didn’t pursue expansion. This is, to put it bluntly, a huge issue for Democrats, particularly the two Georgia senators and Congressional Black Caucus.
Manchin has been opposed on the grounds that states should not be rewarded for not taking the expansion. This proposal is way to work around that. Manchin hasn’t agreed yet, but it’s been made abundantly clear that a resolution here is needed — and sources say this is likely the best option.
Paid leave
Another major issue, with Biden already agreeing to scale back his 12-week proposal to four weeks … and that still not being enough for Manchin. But Manchin and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat who is one of the leading advocates and negotiators on the issue in Congress, are fully engaged on a compromise proposal. It’s not clear that it will come together, but the talks are real and happening.

The billionaire’s income tax

One of the hottest issues on Capitol Hill for several days has been the looming release of an annual tax on unrealized gains in the assets of billionaires. Fascinating, complicated and accompanied by an endless array of questions.
The real work of seeing if it’s viable starts Wednesday (and to be clear, it’s viability is very, very in question right now given Democratic objections, some public, more private.)
This proposal has been in the works for roughly two years. It’s incredibly complicated and untested. It assumes a lot of things, for example, about being able to find, identify and track the assets of America’s wealthiest individuals, which are often layered in trusts and pass through entities and tied up in investments.
For tradeable assets, billionaires would pay every year on gains they made even if they don’t sell those assets. And, once the tax is enacted, billionaires would be given five years to pay up front on tradeable assets they have that has appreciated. The tax would also require a tax at the time of sale on non-tradeable assets like homes and businesses, but the individual wouldn’t just pay a capital gains rate. Instead, they would also pay an interest fee on every year they had held the asset.
If you are lost, if you are confused, just imagine what Wyden has to explain this to 50 senators Wednesday and convince the House Democratic caucus this is a better idea than their fully fleshed out tax bill they marked up for days and passed out of committee.
Therein lies your problem.
Olivia Rodrigo, the singer behind the hits “Driver’s License” and “good 4 u,” was invited to the White House back in July to promote the Covid-19 vaccinations among young people. During an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on Tuesday, Rodrigo revealed the president had given her a few gifts when she visited: some M&Ms, a pair of black aviator Ray Bans (the same ones he wears) and a shoehorn, “which was strange,” Rodrigo said.
“I didn’t see it when he gave it to me it was, like, in a bag,” Rodrigo told a very amused Kimmel. “But I like opened it up and I was like ‘Oh, that’s so cool.'”
The shoehorn wasn’t just any shoehorn. It also had the presidential emblem on it, Rodrigo said.
“Well, if you ever thought Joe Biden was too old to be president, now we know he is,” Kimmel joked. “He’s giving out shoehorns.”
Regardless of the gift, Rodrigo said it was “such an honor” to go to the White House, especially for “such an important cause.” Still, she said, she was nervous.
“I walked in there and there’s all these plates that George Washington used to eat his dinner on and all of this crazy stuff,” she said. “I was just scared that I was going to sneeze and break such a priceless artifact. It was crazy. But, walked out, didn’t break anything.”
Rodrigo, a Disney star known for her role on “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” had a breakout year in 2021. Her album, “Sour,” debuted at the top of the chart when it was released in May, with numerous hit singles and billions of streams on Spotify. Her songs have become so popular that the TikTok favorite “Driver’s License” even inspired a skit on “Saturday Night Live.”
Sharon Bell, a Marske-by-the-Sea resident, told CNN she walked the beach near her home every day and had seen a “steady build-up of soft crustaceans,” in the past few weeks.
Bell said she went to the beach on Monday morning and was shocked to see “the seaweed was piled high to waist level, but it was absolutely full, and I mean thousands of dead crabs and alive crabs, all varieties, lobsters as well.”
Photo courtesy of Sharon Bell.
She told CNN she visited the beach again Wednesday, only to find the smell was “absolutely terrible,” as the piles of dead crabs began to “decompose down.”
The UK’s Environment Agency told CNN it was working with the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture and North Eastern Inshore Fisheries Conservation Authority to investigate why hundreds of dead crabs have washed up along the shore in the Tees Estuary and neighboring beaches.
What is COP26? How the pivotal UN conference could avert global climate 'catastrophe'What is COP26? How the pivotal UN conference could avert global climate 'catastrophe'
“Samples of water, sediment, mussel and crab have been collected,” and have been sent for analysis to “consider whether a pollution incident could have contributed to the deaths of the animals,” the Environment Agency spokesperson told CNN.
Jacob Young, who represents the seaside town of Redcar in the UK Parliament, tweeted Sunday that the developments along the coats were “deeply worrying.”
Photo courtesy of Sharon Bell.Photo courtesy of Sharon Bell.
Photo courtesy of Sharon Bell.Photo courtesy of Sharon Bell.
Bell said she and her husband spent over four hours trying to put as many of the crabs that were still alive and trapped in the seaweed back into the water.
“It’s just devastating to see them laying there,” she said. “It’s saddening because it is such a beautiful area to live in.”
Bell added she hoped locals would get answers. “If it is a man-made incident and we’ve actually done it then obviously we need to make sure it’s not going to happen again,” she said.

As a devotee of sleep masks for many years (but not a brand loyal one — having relied on the free masks collected over time from overnight flights), I was thrilled to test a thoughtfully designed, higher-level eye mask: the Ostrichpillow 3D Ergonomic Eye Mask.

Ostrichpillow, which is perhaps best known for its squidlike (and frankly, meme-worthy) Napping Pillow, calls its eye mask the “first truly 3D ergonomic eye mask,” with a design adaptable to the three-dimensional features of the face, claiming to fit perfectly on all head sizes and face types.

While we can’t speak specifically to those claims, as just one individual tested this specific sleep mask, Underscored did thoroughly test sleep masks this past spring, including several others that offer a versatile, inclusive fit. But the claims that the Ostrichpillow mask provides a 100% blackout sleep experience in total comfort, we can indeed confirm.

The rundown

The Ostrichpillow Eye Mask is made with six different layers of “high-quality materials” (not fully articulated on the site description), but it feels cottony-foamy, soft and deeply comfortable. When we first tried on the mask — never having worn a full blackout sleep mask before — we were almost startled at how a bedroom in full daylight turned instantly dark. The six layers create a light barrier that’s significantly thick but also quite light and portable.

The mask felt softly but securely suctioned to the face, leaving no gaps in the material for any light to sneak in. A secure Velcro closure around the back of the head allows for adapting the snugness of fit, and even at a looser positioning around the head, the mask still clung to the face and blocked light. At the same time, the mask felt breathable and not at all obstructive.

The lowdown

Ostrichpillow
Ostrichpillow Eye Mask

Sleeping in the Ostrichpillow Eye Mask, on our backs or our sides, was the stuff of dreams. We slept in total darkness peacefully, and even if we had to get up in the middle of the night, it was simple to remove the mask and reapply it without much fumbling.

One drawback to this mask, compared to the complimentary flat masks dispensed on airplanes, was the experience of stomach sleeping. Because of the soft but structured cups around the eyes with the Ostrich — very successful at keeping the mask in place and blocking light — sleeping facedown doesn’t feel natural at first. The cups around the eyes feel very present — not uncomfortable, per se, but not not noticeable — when sleeping facedown. The structure of the mask softened a bit over a few nights of use, and we wonder if a user might become more accustomed to stomach sleeping after regular usage and washings of the mask.

To that point, the mask is machine-washable (with suggested line drying), a distinction that none of the sleep masks Underscored tested last spring could claim. The Ostrichpillow mask also comes with a convenient travel bag so you can easily pop it in your bag for flights, train rides or even midday rests in your company’s meditation room if that’s your office reality.

Bottom line

At $45, the Ostrichpillow mask isn’t a cheap sleep mask, but since it is machine-washable and adjustable, it may be a fine longer-term investment in many good nights’ sleep.

Whether you’re a skin care novice or someone who touts an expansive daily routine, you likely reach for a face moisturizer to keep your skin looking and feeling good. And if you don’t, you should definitely start using one.

With this in mind, we brought in a panel of reviewers with different skin types to test 18 top-rated moisturizers, in order to find the best ones for you, whatever your skin care needs. Keep reading to see which face moisturizers stood out against the rest.

Best overall face moisturizer

This is an all-around reliable moisturizer if you’re looking for a product to have in your vanity year round, or want to test a low-risk option

Best face moisturizer for dry skin

If you have dry skin, look no further than the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream. The ingredients and the texture make it an excellent moisturizer to quench dry skin.

Best face moisturizer for sensitive skin

Packed with peptides, growth factors, amino acids and pygmy water lily, it’s formulated to quench thirsty skin leaving you with a smooth, plump, bouncy complexion. Basically a recipe for youthful-looking skin.

Best face moisturizer for combination skin

Japanese purple rice, Okinawa algae blend, hyaluronic acid and botanical extracts are the stars of this formula. These ingredients come together to protect the skin barrier against pollution and stress, soften and nourish the skin.

Best face moisturizer for oily skin

Belif’s True Cream Aqua Bomb increases your skin’s hydration level, leaving you with smooth and supple skin. This kind of lightweight nourishment makes it ideal for oily skin.

Best face moisturizer for acne-prone skin

The Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench moisturizer is good at nourishing the skin with the hydration it needs without weighing it down, and leading to more breakouts.

Best face moisturizer with SPF

This cream has a rich texture with built in sun protection. The application process feels nourishing — cooling almost — and layers well with other products in your skincare routine.

Best drugstore face moisturizer

The Cetaphil Oil-Free Hydrating Lotion is a no-fuss, reliable drugstore moisturizer that won’t disappoint — and easy to reach for in a pinch or on a quick errand run.

Best splurge face moisturizer

For a truly luxurious moisturizer experience, look no further than Augustinus Bader’s The Rich Cream — a product that blew us away at how pleasant it is.

Ulta
Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream Face Moisturizer

Why you should buy it: Through our tests, we found that the best face moisturizer overall is dermatologist-favorite Olay Regenerist. The brand describes it as “an anti-aging moisturizer that hydrates skin and helps retain skin’s youthful surface contours.” Essentially, it’s meant to diminish the look of fine lines while improving skin’s elasticity and firmness. So, what sets it apart is the formula.

About the formula: According to King, this “provides the ideal combination of humectants like hyaluronic acid, emollients like triglycerides and occlusives to hydrate, support the skin barrier and lock in moisture. It also includes niacinamide, which is helpful for tone and texture, and anti-aging peptides as well. It’s fragrance-free and suitable for sensitive skin too.”

What we like: This is an all-around reliable moisturizer if you’re looking for a product to have in your vanity year round, or want to test a low-risk option. One of our testers, who describes their skin type as “normal” with a bit of dryness in the winter, said that they “like the weight of this formula. It looks creamy, but blends in immediately and you don’t feel it on your face at all.” The lightweight, but creamy texture allows it to sink right into the skin as opposed to simply sitting on top of it. None of our testers experienced any skin sensitivities or irritations while using it — obviously a plus.

What we don’t like: There’s not much to not like about Olay Regenerist. The moisturizer is available in both a scented and fragrance-free formula. The scented version smells rather citrus-y, which is a relevant caution for people with sensitive skin. And while this is available at your local drugstore, it’s not the most cost effective moisturizer out there. If you’re on a really strict budget, this might be a bit of a splurge.

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Best face moisturizer for dry skin: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream ($36; sephora.com, ulta.com)

Sephora
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream

Why you should buy it: If you have dry skin, look no further than the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream. The brand itself is known for it’s efficacious skin care products to solve various skin concerns, formulated to be suitable for sensitive skin. The ingredients and the texture make it an excellent moisturizer to quench dry skin.

About the formula: “This facial cream combines ultra hydrating shea butter with soothing colloidal oatmeal to provide moisture and relief to those with dry skin,” says Love. According to King, colloidal oatmeal, partnered with allantoin, works to soothe and calm the skin — particularly dry, flaky or itchy patches. She says that the cream “provides the ideal combination of humectants like glycerin, emollients like ceramides and occlusives to hydrate, support the skin barrier and lock in moisture.”

What we like: One of our testers called this moisturizer basic, but we mean that in the most positive way. A reliable moisturizer that performs well doesn’t need bells and whistles to be appreciated. They wrote that “it comes in a pretty large container, and is rich and creamy, but has no scent. It goes on pretty thick and works well on dry spots. This is usually my go-to winter moisturizer.” Despite the thickness, it blends seamlessly into the skin without the feeling of weighing it down. We found that the Ultra Repair Cream stood up to the brand’s “fast-absorbing” and “long-term hydration” claims. None of our testers experienced any skin sensitivities or irritations while using it.

What we don’t like: But because it is so thick, it may not be the best option for a summer moisturizer — unless your skin is truly in need of intense moisture while the temperatures are high. Also, ringing in at just under $40 for the standard size tub, this isn’t necessarily the most affordable face moisturizer.

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Best face moisturizer for sensitive skin: Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream ($69; sephora.com, ulta.com, amazon.com)

Sephora
Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream

Why you should buy it: Drunk Elephant’s Protini Polypeptide Cream is formulated to “restore younger, revived-looking skin” — targeting everything from wrinkles to signs of sun damage. And in our test, we found that it’s the best face moisturizer for those with sensitive skin because it works really well leaving us with zero irritation.

About the formula: First things first, this cream is vegan and free of essential oils, silicones and fragrance. Packed with peptides, growth factors, amino acids and pygmy water lily, it’s formulated to quench thirsty skin leaving you with a smooth, plump, bouncy complexion. Basically a recipe for youthful-looking skin.

What we like: Both testers of this moisturizer ranked it the best of all the ones they tried. While both describe their skin as combination with an oily t-zone, one remarks having super sensitive and acne-prone skin. According to one tester, “it’s scentless, the texture is lightweight, doubles as a primer for makeup, absorbs quickly and leaves my skin looking supple and glowy, and feeling super hydrated.” Overall, this cream is for someone who wants lightweight, gel-cream consistency that will leave your skin feeling hydrated throughout the day.

What we don’t like: While one tester thought the pump applicator on the tub was an added bonus to quickly, easily release the product, another believed it made it hard to control how much product you release — especially for a pricey product like this one. We found that if you end up with too much product, you can spend a while rubbing it into the skin. A little goes a long way.

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Best face moisturizer for combination skin: Tatcha Dewy Skin Cream ($68; sephora.com, tatcha.com, amazon.com)

Sephora
Tatcha Dewy Skin Cream

Why you should buy it: It goes without saying that Tatcha offers some of our favorite skin care products, period — so we weren’t surprised one of its moisturizers topped our list. The brand’s Dewy Skin Cream “feeds skin with plumping hydration and antioxidant-packed Japanese purple rice for a dewy, healthy glow.” It’s heavy enough to quell dry patches, but light enough to not make you overly oily.

About the formula: Japanese purple rice, Okinawa algae blend, hyaluronic acid and botanical extracts are the stars of this formula. These ingredients come together to protect the skin barrier against pollution and stress, soften and nourish the skin, as well as helping the skin retain moisture. We thought the formula was “rich and creamy with a gel-like consistency,” meaning it’ll work to combat dryness without weighing the skin down or making it overly oily — especially someone with combination skin. New York-based licensed esthetician and skin care expert Sean Garrette says he “loves this one. It’s very nourishing and makes the skin supple and moisturized.”

What we like: We found that this purple-hued moisturizer “sinks into skin beautifully” and “feels refreshing” leaving us with a radiant dolphin-skin finish. The Dewy Skin Cream is a well-balanced option, with a fresh scent that’s not overwhelming at all.

What we don’t like: Although fragrance is not necessarily a bad thing, this is scented so it may not be a safe bet for those with sensitive skin. “Those with sensitive skin should approach scent with caution,” says Love. “Test the product on the lateral face right in front of the ear before using it on the entire face.” Additionally, one of our testers found that this left her skin feeling sticky — a feeling that went away over time, but made it difficult to layer on primers or makeup in the morning. Because of this, she preferred to use it exclusively during her at night skin care routine. Again, the price of this moisturizer is concerning.

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Best face moisturizer for oily skin: Belief True Cream Aqua Bomb ($38; sephora.com, ulta.com)

Sephora
Belief True Cream Aqua Bomb

Why you should buy it: With a name like Aqua Bomb, you surely expect this moisturizer by Belief to quench your skin’s thirst — and luckily, it does not disappoint. According to the brand, it’s formulated to provide a 70% increase in your skin’s hydration level, leaving you with smooth and supple skin. This kind of lightweight nourishment makes it ideal for oily skin.

About the formula: Belief’s True Cream Aqua Bomb is practically weightless, described as a water-based gel-cream. “This formula delivers hydrating glycerin and hyaluronic acid in a light-weight gel formula that will not weigh down skin,” says Love. Garrette agrees, and says that he recommends this a lot to his oily-skin clients.

What we like: “Loved the texture of this one, and it also felt cool to the touch when you put it on,” says one of our testers who thought it “left [her] skin feeling moisturized and nourished 12 hours later.” Although it is rather thick, we found it absorbed pretty quickly. Better yet: while testing the Aqua Bomb, one tester saw a noticeable difference in skin texture after just a few uses.

What we don’t like: The scent of this moisturizer might be a deterrent, for sure. We thought the scent was strong, but not in an overwhelming way. Even though it did not cause irritation for our testers, we caution against this one if you have sensitive skin.

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Best face moisturizer for acne-prone skin: Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream Hydrating Moisturizer ($52; sephora.com, ulta.com, dermstore.com)

Sephora
Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream Hydrating Moisturizer

Why you should buy it: There are few moisturizers in the beauty industry as acclaimed as the Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench moisturizer. It’s that good at nourishing the skin with the hydration it needs without weighing it down (leading to more breakouts), and according to the brand, designed to leave “a silky, hydrated and more youthful-looking appearance.”

About the formula: “​​I actually think this is a great moisturizer not only for acne prone skin, but also oily and combination. This has a great balance of ceramides, fatty acids, and hydrating ingredients,” says Garrette. The texture is arguably the star here, a fabulous whipped, fluffy, cloud-like formula. It contains concentrated 30% hyaluronic acid complex to help your skin draw in the moisture it needs.

What we like: One of our testers with sensitive, oily-combination skin said her skin felt drenched, like she splashed her face with water, after using Water Drench. “Absolutely loved the texture of this moisturizer, and felt a genuine difference in my skin’s plumpness and moisture level after using it, even hours later. It’s unscented too, which is key for my more acne-prone skin,” says one of our testers. We also found that a little goes a long way, so the tub will last you a while.

What we don’t like: Although it is rather lightweight, sometimes we experienced pilling when layered on top of other products, specifically retinols, AHAs or BHAs. To avoid this, we found ourselves reaching for it more at night.

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Best face moisturizer with SPF: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Facial Moisturizer With SPF ($19.99; amazon.com, ulta.com)

Ulta
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Facial Moisturizer With SPF

Why you should buy it: Because dermatologists say you should wear sunscreen everyday, having a moisturizer with built-in UV protection makes applying it everyday that much easier. That’s why we love La Roche-Posay’s Toleriane Moisturizer — a supreme moisturizer that’s formulated with SPF 30. In fact, it’s one of Love’s most recommended products.

About the formula: According to King, this “provides the ideal combination of humectants like glycerin, emollients like ceramides, and occlusives. It also contains niacinamide, which helps with tone and texture, as well as SPF 30 and it’s suitable for sensitive skin.” Better yet: the moisturizer is non-comedogenic, oil- and paraben-free — sporting a rich, creamy texture.

What we like: We were fans of the rich, creamy texture and that it has built in sun protection. The application process feels nourishing — cooling almost — and layers well with other products in your routine. After hours of wear, our skin still felt moisturized even under makeup.

What we don’t like: Toleriane Double Repair does have a noticeable sunscreen scent that isn’t inherently bad, but worth noting if you want a truly fragrance-free moisturizer. We found that it also took rather long to rub in completely, leaving you with a sort of dewy, slightly greasy finish immediately after applying.

Ulta
Cetaphil Oil-Free Hydrating Lotion

Why you should buy it: You’ve likely given the Cetaphil Oil-Free Hydrating Lotion a try at some point in your life, or have vague memories spotting it on the shelves of your nearest drugstore. It’s a no-fuss, reliable drugstore moisturizer that won’t disappoint — and what our testers would reach for in a pinch or on a quick errand run.

About the formula: According to King, this lotion is “non-comedogenic and packed with both hydrating humectants and emollients to lock in moisture, this is a great cream for both face and body.” She says that the key ingredients — glycerin, glyceryl stearate, sweet almond oil and vitamin E — work together to draw in moisture, soften the skin and help protect against UV damage. Garrette and Love, who says this is “light-weight, easy to apply, hydrating and oil-free,” are fans of this drugstore staple.

What we like: Despite being packed with an assortment of hydrating ingredients, it’s noticeably light. In fact, one of our testers said that it took the shortest amount of time to rub in — leaving the skin nourished for hours after application, even on dry patches. “The texture is lightweight and hydrating, it doesn’t clog my pores,” says one of our testers. “It’s fragrance-free, it absorbed instantly, the bottle is the perfect size for traveling and storing in my cabinet and it’s only $12!”

What we don’t like: There isn’t much we don’t like about the Cetaphil Oil-Free Hydrating Lotion. In comparison, we found that it didn’t leave our skin quite as moisturized as other options, nor did it deliver that glowy look.

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Best splurge face moisturizer: Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream (starting at $85; sephora.com, augustinusbader.com)

Sephora
Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream

Why you should buy it: For a truly luxurious moisturizer experience, look no further than Augustinus Bader’s The Rich Cream — a product that blew us away at how pleasant it is. According to the brand, this cream is designed to “support cellular renewal to dramatically improve the complexion’s appearance” — specifically the signs of aging like fine lines, skin elasticity and hyperpigmentation.

About the formula: “This is a personal luxury splurge for me. I have pretty dry skin that can easily become dehydrated in the winter. This moisturizer has been a savior for my dry skin. Incredibly nourishing, plumping and makes my skin feel so supple,” says Garrette. Ideal for normal to dry skin, or those in dry climates, this fragrance-free, vegan option utilizes the brand’s TFC8 cellular renewal complex as well as nourishing ingredients like evening primrose oil, squalene, vitamin E and avocado oil.

What we like: We particularly loved the rich, creamy texture and the way it absorbed easily into the skin. Testers shared that it made them feel hydrated, glowy and even healing on their problem areas. In fact, one tester said that it cleared some of her acne on her chin — leaving her with a more even complexion. She says that she had a “noticeably more even skin tone after using this for just a few days. When I’d put this on at night I’d wake up with skin that I didn’t even have to cover with makeup.” None of our testers experienced any skin sensitivities while testing it, either.

What we don’t like: Simply put: The biggest con of The Rich Cream is the price tag. But it surely might be worth the investment if you’re okay with the splurge or want a moisturizer so good, you don’t even need foundation.

How to pick the right moisturizer

“Moisturizers hydrate, support the skin barrier and lock in moisture,” says New York City-based dermatologist Dr. Hadley King. “These qualities are important for keeping the skin healthy and plump.  An impaired skin barrier will leave the skin more vulnerable to damage, dryness, irritation, inflammation and infection.”

But how do you choose a moisturizer that’s good for you? According to King, “all skin types should look for a moisturizer that contains humectants, emollients and occlusives.” If your moisturizer includes a combination of ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, ceramides, squalene and thicker oils or waxes like beeswax — you’re on the right track.

“Those with normal skin will likely find a daily lightweight lotion to be moisturizing enough,” explains New York City-based board-certified dermatologist Dr. Elyse Love. “Those with drier skin may require a thicker cream, particularly in the fall and winter, to maintain moisture balance. For those with extremely dry skin and/or a defective skin barrier (for example, those with eczema) — combining a moisturizing cream with an occlusive ointment may be necessary – especially in the fall and winter.”

At the end of the day, the right moisturizer for you should leave your skin feeling undoubtedly nourished — not dry, itchy or irritated. Because there are so many moisturizers in the market, we sought out to test them ourselves.

How we tested

We tasked nine Underscored staff members with various different skin types and skin care routines to find moisturizers that really work.  We settled on a testing pool of 18 top-rated moisturizers based on expert recommendations, editorial reviews and customer ratings. Over the course of over a month, each of our staffers tested a moisturizer for at least a week to determine the overall efficacy when put to the test with their every day skin care routine.

At the end of the trial period, we asked each of the moisturizer testers to complete a detailed survey. Testers were asked to rate the quality and effectiveness of each moisturizer across the following categories beyond pros and cons: scent, application, formula, price and how it left their skin feeling overall.  Testers were also asked to provide further notes and commentary on each of the variables listed above, as well as decide if they’d be likely to purchase it again.

Other moisturizers we tested

Youth To The People Superfood Air-Whip Moisture Cream ($48; sephora.com)
This is another excellent moisturizer choice, especially if you’re looking for a vegan, clean beauty option. Packed with kale, green tea and hyaluronic acid, this is formulated to balance the skin and pack it with moisture — making it a favorite of Garrette’s. We particularly loved the light, air-whip texture, but one of our testers experienced breakouts while using it. She has acne-prone skin, so her flare ups could be due to the light scent or the richness of the texture.

Neutrogena Water Boost Gel Moisturizer ($19.79; target.com)
Although it did not make our top picks, we were still huge fans of the Neutrogena Water Boost Gel Moisturizer — particularly the gel-like texture. It’s recommended by King too. She says, “my patients with oilier skin tend to particularly love Neutrogena’s Water Boost Gel Moisturizer. It’s non-comedogenic and has a gel base with light occlusives — well-suited for oily skin.” However, it lost points for us because of its light scent.

CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion ($16.99; target.com)
King says this is a great moisturizer choice. “It contains hyaluronic acid, which is a powerful humectant for hydrating the skin, as well as ceramides to lock in that moisture and restore and protect the skin barrier,” she says. “It’s non-comedogenic so it won’t clog pores and contribute to acne, and its skin barrier- nourishing ingredients help to protect the skin from the potentially irritating effects of anti-acne medications.” While we liked this moisturizer, we didn’t love it. It absorbed seamlessly into the skin, but didn’t provide intense moisture or show any prominent skin improvements over time. One of our testers even described it as a “middle of the road lotion.” It’s really a no-frills option that worked well for us even with prescription skin care products.

Tatcha Water Cream ($68; sephora.com)
Described as “lightweight, pore-refining hydration,” Tatcha’s Water Cream is formulated with Japanese botanicals to improve the look of pores and support balanced skin. We found that the Water Cream left our skin feeling hydrated and silky, making it better suited for summer or fall for lasting nourishment. However, it is scented, and left one of our testers with breakouts at the beginning of her testing. This is a solid option if you want an ultra-light moisturizer, perhaps to wear under makeup.

CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion With Sunscreen ($16.99; target.com)
Packed with ceramides, hyaluronic acid and niacinamide, this is described as a “morning skin care multitasker” to moisturize the skin, restore the skin barrier and protect the skin from UV damage. However, we found that the featured sunscreen overpowered the formula. We felt it was like applying a traditional sunscreen, in both the scent and texture — not leaving us with the glowy hydration we were looking for.

La Mer Crème De La Mer ($190; sephora.com)
Although this is a luxury pick for celebrities, influencers and the beauty set alike, we didn’t fall in love with La Mer’s Crème De La Mer — especially to justify the hefty price tag. While the formula is impeccably rich, we felt it was too heavy to wear realistically because it takes a long time to completely sink into the skin. Perhaps better for someone with truly dry skin, this moisturizer features the brand’s Miracle Broth and lime tea to visibly improve signs of aging, and leave you with a rejuvenated complexion over time.

Neutrogena Oil-Free Daily Moisturizer ($12.69; target.com)
We’ve long used Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Daily Moisturizer — an option that’s lined our beauty cabinets since it’s been available at our local drugstore. The non-comedogenic, fragrance-free water-based formula is meant to be sensitive-skin safe. While we didn’t experience any skin irritations, we found that it didn’t quite live up to its oil-free claim because it left our skin feeling oily, and at times slightly sticky after use.

Glossier Priming Moisturizer Rich ($35; glossier.com)
Glossier’s Priming Moisturizer is described as “a rich, deeply moisturizing yet fast-absorbing face cream for day or night.” It’s full of ceramides and fatty acids to lock in moisture, and even technology designed to soothe skin, combat redness and improve skin texture. Although we like the texture, we didn’t think it left us with long-lasting moisture or noticeable skin changes over time — essentially, it didn’t particularly stand out amongst the rest.

Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Face Moisturizer, SPF 15 ($16.89; target.com)
This moisturizer is formulated with a soy complex, natural light diffusers, and SPF to even skin tone, protect against sun damage and combat signs of aging — leaving you with a radiant complexion. While we were fans of the lightweight creamy texture and sun protection, we didn’t like the sunscreen scent and found that it wasn’t rich enough to quench dry spots on the scent. One tester did experience irritations while testing it.

Medicanes are hurricane-like storms with dangerous, real life consequences. This week, a medicane is tearing through parts of Europe with torrential rain and flooding.
If the terminology sounds to you like a clever mixture of “Mediterranean” and “hurricane,” then you can probably piece together where they form and what they do. However, there are notable differences (and similarities) between a hurricane and a medicane — not just in where they develop, but how they behave.

Medicanes vs. hurricanes

“Medicanes are very much like hurricanes,” says Dr. Richard Seager of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University. He told CNN that because medicanes are “geographically confined over the Mediterranean Sea and are surrounded by land” they are typically smaller than a hurricane and often dissipate quicker.
We are accustomed to seeing a hurricane form over warm tropical oceans, but a medicane can evolve and even sustain itself with significantly cooler water. Hurricanes require surface water temperatures of 26°C (79°F) to form and strengthen, while medicanes have been known to form within water temperatures of only 15°C (59°F).
Another important difference is the time of the year when they develop. As the Atlantic hurricane season winds down from its peak months, we look to the Mediterranean basin for potential formation. Medicane formation usually occurs from September to December, according to CNN meteorologist Michael Guy.
A medicane forms southeast of Italy as shown in this satellite image from October 27, 2021.
Even though winds can become damaging within the core of a medicane, they rarely achieve Category 1 (119kph / 74mph) hurricane strength. Sometimes the exception occurs, such as Medicane Qendresa, which struck Malta and Sicily in 2014, causing significant damage to property. Here, sustained winds reached 111 kph, with gusts topping 150 kph. This was enough to uproot trees, topple electrical poles and demolish walls of buildings.
In September 2020, western Greece was struck by a powerful medicane named Ianos. It caused property damage and flooding to Lefkada Island.
Power was taken out from winds that reached 100 kph (62 mph) just before landfall, as seen within this wind map from 2020.
Similar to a hurricane, the clouds of a medicane swirl around a central eye-like structure, which is where the strongest part of the storm is located.
Devastating impacts from a medicane, such as flooding and mudslides, can stretch hundreds of kilometers from the center of the storm as the outer rain bands approach land.

Medicanes are rare

Medicanes are not a regular occurrence.
According to Seager, they are quite rare, with “typically one or so forming per year in the western Mediterranean basin.”
Because of this, says Seager, it’s hard to know if there are any climate-related impacts on frequency or intensity. Warmer sea surface temperatures in the Mediterranean can allow the storms to take on more tropical appearances and characteristics, increasing the wind speeds and making the storms more intense.
However, “some modeling studies have shown that climate change might make Medicanes less common but more intense when they do form, which is similar to model projections of Atlantic hurricanes.”
A 2017 study showed that medicanes are likely to become a bigger problem as the planet warms, thanks to human-caused climate change — with stronger winds and heavier rainfall.
The plan’s survival has been in question for several days due to objections from Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat. Biden’s initial 12-week proposal was scaled back to four weeks in an effort to secure Manchin’s support. That was rejected, leading to an effort by New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand that attempted to find a compromise with Manchin.
That has not succeeded, one of the people said, prompting Democrats to push it out of the package as they seek to scale back the proposal’s overall cost and programs to meet Manchin’s demands.
Manchin made clear he would not move when asked about the provision on Wednesday, saying: “I just can’t do it.”
“To expand social programs when you have trust funds that aren’t solvent, they’re going insolvent. I can’t explain that. It doesn’t make sense to me,” Manchin said. “I want to work with everyone as long as we can start paying for things. That’s all. I can’t put this burden on my grandchildren. I’ve got 10 grandchildren … I just can’t do it.”
But each move toward Manchin also risks alienating progressives, and dropping paid leave, which has been viewed as a cornerstone piece of the proposal, adds another complication for the White House and Democratic leaders as they seek to unify the party over the course of the next few hours.
This is a breaking story and will be updated.
The plan’s survival has been in question for several days due to objections from Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat. Biden’s initial 12-week proposal was scaled back to four weeks in an effort to secure Manchin’s support. That was rejected, leading to an effort by New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand that attempted to find a compromise with Manchin.
That has not succeeded, one of the people said, prompting Democrats to push it out of the package as they seek to scale back the proposal’s overall cost and programs to meet Manchin’s demands.
Manchin made clear he would not move when asked about the provision on Wednesday, saying: “I just can’t do it.”
“To expand social programs when you have trust funds that aren’t solvent, they’re going insolvent. I can’t explain that. It doesn’t make sense to me,” Manchin said. “I want to work with everyone as long as we can start paying for things. That’s all. I can’t put this burden on my grandchildren. I’ve got 10 grandchildren … I just can’t do it.”
But each move toward Manchin also risks alienating progressives, and dropping paid leave, which has been viewed as a cornerstone piece of the proposal, adds another complication for the White House and Democratic leaders as they seek to unify the party over the course of the next few hours.
This is a breaking story and will be updated.
Michael Woo, who in 1985 became the first Asian American elected to the Los Angeles City Council, says he never heard about the 1871 Chinese massacre growing up, despite being born and raised in the city. It wasn’t taught at school, it didn’t appear in history books and it seemed to him that no one in the city’s Chinese American community knew about it either.
It wasn’t until 2012 when Woo was invited by the Los Angeles Times to review a book about the massacre that he learned about that dark chapter in his city’s history.
“It was shocking,” Woo, who is now retired from politics, said. “It had a huge effect on me because I couldn’t figure out why I’d never heard about it.”
Early Chinese Americans were blamed for diseases and denied health care. So they built their own hospital
Los Angeles in the 19th century was a Wild West town of under 6,000 residents with a reputation for lawlessness and vigilantism. On October 24, 1871, a gunfight broke out between two rival factions of the city’s small Chinese community and as police officers tried to break up the argument, one of them was killed. Word soon spread that Chinese men had killed a White man and soon after, a mob of about 500 people descended on Chinatown, looting and burning homes and businesses and killing around 18 Chinese people — about 10% of the city’s Chinese population at the time, according to Woo and historic records.
Woo is now one of several local leaders in Los Angeles involved in an effort to build an ambitious memorial to the 1871 massacre. The proposed project has taken on a new urgency given the surge of violence against Asian Americans brought on by the pandemic, as well as the deadly Atlanta spa shootings earlier this year, he said.
“This anti-Asian sentiment in the United States caused some people to start to realize that the massacre in Los Angeles in some ways laid the foundation for later violence,” Woo said.
The 1871 massacre wasn’t an isolated incident. It took place during a time of heightened violence, xenophobia and discrimination against Asians in the US, many of whom had come over as laborers during the Gold Rush and had since started working in other low-level jobs. Woo and other local leaders feel that this piece of their city’s history bears reflection, given recent violent events.

Leaders want the memorial to be more than a statue

In April of this year, a working group commissioned by Mayor Eric Garcetti to examine how Los Angeles might better reckon with its history recommended that the city work to commemorate the 1871 massacre. In July, Garcetti and councilmember Kevin de León established a committee of more than 60 people, including Woo, to begin considering how exactly the event might be memorialized.
Last week, that committee — formally known as the 1871 Memorial Steering Committee — released a report offering suggestions on how the story of the massacre might be told through a memorial.
Bodies of Chinese people lie in front of the city jail following the 1871 massacre in Los Angeles.Bodies of Chinese people lie in front of the city jail following the 1871 massacre in Los Angeles.
The committee was clear that they wanted to go beyond just a traditional statue. Since the events of the massacre took place at several locations throughout the city, they proposed a memorial spread across multiple sites. It could be connected by a walking tour or involve digital technology that would allow visitors to use their smartphones to learn about the significance of each site.
“We’re very committed to making this a world class memorial — something that people will really want to see, which includes not just physical monuments but is very effective in telling the story about the violence,” Woo said. “[We want] people to see that this is not only about the past, that it’s about something very current in terms of the overlapping of race and violence that is still a big problem in America today.”
For Pacific Islanders, a statue in Washington state recalls a dark chapter in historyFor Pacific Islanders, a statue in Washington state recalls a dark chapter in history
Los Angeles has committed $250,000 toward the project, which Woo said will go toward funding a design competition that will allow artists to propose ideas for the memorial. That process is set to begin early next year and it will likely be several more years until the project is completed, Woo said. CNN has reached out to the mayor’s office for comment.
The planned memorial to the 1871 Chinese massacre comes as communities across the country are reckoning with their histories: what events have been memorialized, what events have been omitted and how they might imagine fuller, more truthful accounts. At the same time, students, educators and lawmakers have been pushing for Asian American studies to be taught as part of K-12 curricula.